For years I've used the Osprey Switch 18. Great pack except no good place for radio/phone/map. It has those hip pockets but I hate those because you need 2 hands to work the zippers and the hip pockets in general are flopping around because I don't usually need to buckle the waist strap.
The most practical combo would be minimalist Camelbak combined with one of those ski patrol chest harnesses, but that's too over the top for me.
I've looked at the Arcteryx Quiver but it doesn't appear to have immediate access to stuff on the front (only easy ability to swing the whole pack around to get stuff on the back). I also researched the Dakine BC Vest which looks just about right in terms of carrying capacity and distribution of pockets, but in photos it looks kinda dorky and I'm assuming you need to keep it zipped so it doesn't flap around and that would be way too hot in Tahoe spring skiing.
In my mind, the ideal solution would be a small (1.0-1.5L) pack with hydration sleeve, radio/phone pockets either on the straps or otherwise quickly accessible on the side of the pack, and it should have no hip pockets.
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.